To celebrate the victory of the Women's Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha after the violent, vociferous and hugely entertaining opposition, I've decided to write on a few of the brightest and the best female leaders we have in parliament. Why, one of them even made it to the cover of Newsweek a few years ago - yes, UP Chief Minister Mayawati is that impressive! I predict we're going to see her on the cover of another leading international magazine, Forbes, very soon - heading the list of the richest women in the world.
To make it interactive, I've compiled a few multiple choice questions. Hey, it's a democracy after all, and every opinion counts. Read on and tick the answers that you heartily agree with.
1. Why do politicians urge faded Bollywood stars to join politics?
a) They're prettier than most other female politicians. Better still, they're extremely regular with their botox, waxing and hair colour sessions.
b) They have no original lines of their own and faithfully parrot what their political masters tell them.
c) They're so incredibly dumb, some of them (well, Jaya Bachchan, to be precise) actually believe that a regressive man like Samajwadi Party head Mulayam Singh Yadav is a great leader, at par with Mahatma Gandhi. Huh?
d) Their acting skills come in handy during lengthy, boring debates in the parliament - in fact, they're the only people in the house who make an effort to look interested.
2. What is Mayawati going to do with her 5 crore plus garlands?
a) Make a statue of herself in diamonds.
b) Buy the Taj Mahal and put up a white marble statue of her there.
c) Hire the best pigeon trainers in the world to stop pigeons from, um, soiling her existing statues.
d) Use the money to better the lives of Dalits - ha ha, just kidding!
3. Why is Mayawati accusing her rivals of training bees to attack her?
a) She needs a plausible reason to explain her swollen head.
b) She was stung not by bees but by accusations that she's a vulgar and shockingly greedy gold-digger.
c) She's not remotely intelligent - she just says the first rubbishy thing that comes to her head.
d) When she saw all that lovely money she was garlanded with, she became so dizzy with joy, black spots began to swim in front of her eyes
4. Should former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi put salt in her husband Lalu Prasad's tea for humiliating her by brazenly informing the public that he tells her whom she should vote for?
a) Yes, absolutely.
b) No - she should put a live hairy cockroach in it instead.
c) No - she should pour it on his head while it's steaming hot.
d) Ah forget it - she doesn't know the difference anyway!
5. Why does Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee change her mind as often as she changes her clothes?
a) The Maoists make her do so. Kishanji calls her regularly for cosy chats instead of calling Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.
b) She has the bi-polar disease.
c) Whenever the Congress agrees with the Left, she feels it's not right.
d) No logical reason at all - she takes all her crucially important political decisions by flipping a coin.
6. When BJP biggie Sushma Swaraj was Union health minister, why did she discourage the use of condoms to prevent AIDS?
a) She hadn't had the foggiest idea of what condoms were, and was too embarrassed to ask.
b) She had no clue what AIDS was, and was too shy to ask.
c) She had no idea why she was made the health minister, and was too stupefied to ask.
d) She didn't want to encourage dirty, immoral acts like sex, chee.
7. After reading this, do you really think seats should be reserved for women in the parliament after all?
a) No, a concerted effort must be made to ensure that all women (including the current lot of politicians) are educated first. After that, reservations may not be required at all.
b) Yes, as long as they're not related to male politicians or power brokers.
c) Only if certain qualifications are put in place, like 2 years of social service towards underprivileged women and children.
d) Why not? Most of our male politicians are not particularly intelligent or progressive either!